How to write a social media strategy
We firmly believe every business needs a social media strategy. That’s because the way social media has evolved over the last two decades has shown how something that started as an information sharing platform quickly became a global phenomenon, and led the way in online communications, engagement and digital marketing.
Having a social media account for your business is a good place to start, but a social media account without a strategy means you can’t reap the benefits of being on social media.
What is a social media strategy?
A social media strategy is a plan to define how you will use social media over a specified period of time. It will guide your decision making around what you post on your social media accounts, who you’re aiming to reach, and help you understand if you’re successfully achieving your communications and marketing goals. It can be used by any business, at any stage.
Your social media strategy will be more effective if it is customised to suit your organisation and your goals. The thought of trying to create a social media strategy might be daunting but it’s quite easy if you follow the simple steps below.
How to write a social media strategy
Set your social media strategy goals
Clearly identify the purpose of your social media account. Define your goals and what you hope to achieve.
Start off with some realistic goals. These could be:
- Promoting your business or organisation
- Targeting a broader audience
- Increase profit through online sales
- Drive traffic to a website
- Build your brands profile and reputation
- Build stronger customer relationships
- Increase awareness of what you do.
To help clarify your goals, you can make them SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely) by setting some KPI’s to work towards. Some KPI’s could be:
- Gaining a certain number of new followers over a chosen period
- Increasing your reach by a certain % for the month
- Engage with your desired audience by x per month
- Increase online sales by 10% for the month
- Increasing traffic to your website by a defined % for the month.
By having these KPI’s you can monitor and track your progress at the end of your selected timeframes, to see where you can improve and what parts of your strategy are working. We talk about how to monitor your performance in step 5.
Who is your audience?
Now that you know the goals for your social media strategy, you need to identify your audience. Your audience is the specific group or demographic that you want to reach the most through your social media platform. Think about groups of people who are going to be interested in your organisation’s work, products or your services, those who would most likely to use or need your service and who would be interested in the content you would be posting.
Understanding your audience means you can customise your social media posts and make sure you’re using the appropriate platform to reach them.
- Age groups
- People who might need or use your products or services
Choose what social platform is right for your strategy
Now that you know who your audience is you need to decide how you will you reach them and what is the most suitable social media platform for you. It’s important to know about some of the social media platforms you might want to use as each platform is used by different audiences and for different purposes.
Here’s the key things you need to know about the most common social media platforms so you can decide which to include in your social media strategy:
This has the highest number of users of any social media platform with over 2.9 billion users worldwide as of January 2022. It is used for building brand awareness, driving traffic to your website and building relationships with your clients or customers by keeping them updated and informed about your business.
Great for quick updates, information exchange and sharing of news, Twitter is highly interactive with the use of hashtags. Originally you could only have 140 characters per tweet, however this has recently increased to 280 characters per tweet. As of January 2022, there were over 435 million users.
This is a visual platform for photo and video sharing. Instagram quickly become one of the fastest-growing platforms after its launch. Users are generally under 35. As of January 2022, Instagram had over 1.4 billion users.
One of the first social media platforms used solely for corporate networking, it’s used by businesses and professionals and has around 740 million users.
Youtube has the second highest number of users – 2.5 billion worldwide. Youtube is unique in the sense that it caters to all ages due to the limitless content available that is of interest to a wide range of demographics.
It’s the most recent social media platform to make waves. It’s a short video sharing platform and has a very young demographic with 1 billion monthly active users.
This is the digital take on traditional scrapbooking. It’s a very popular photo and video sharing site that had 431 million users in January 2022. The users are predominately female (76% of users). Pinterest is a platform where businesses can display their products or drive traffic to their website.
Create your content
You’ve defined your goals, identified your audience, and decided which social media platform is right for you. Now comes the exciting part – executing your social media strategy by creating and posting your content!
Tips to help you post
Your audience and the platform you are using
There are many ways you can post content on social media but consider your audience and the platform you have chosen. This will help you decide the type of content you should post.
What grabs your attention?
When you are scrolling through social media what are the kinds of things that grab your attention? It could be:
- information updates
- links to websites
- live polls.
Proofread your work before you post
It’s important to take the time to proofread your captions or posts before you post them. It’s also a good idea to have someone else review them to get a second set of eyes. This will avoid any negative comments on your posts about misspelling, incorrect grammar, or inappropriate language.
Monitor and track your social media strategy performance
One of the most helpful tools for businesses is the ability to see how their social media strategy is tracking. If you create a social media account for your business, make sure you’re creating a business page as business pages allow you to track your insights.
It’s important to know what some of the insights mean and how you should monitor them to see if you are well on your way of achieving your set social media goals.
The main insights to focus on are reach and engagement.
The total number of online users who saw your content is known as ‘reach’. If 25 people saw your post, your reach is 25. This only counts the first-time people saw your post, this doesn’t count if they re-see your post a second or third time in their news feed.
This refers to how your audience interacts with your content such as likes, shares, comments etc. Your engagement tracks how much your audience engages with your content and will indicate your contents effectiveness. High engagement suggests your audience is enjoying your content.
Some other insights that are also important are:
- Audience – are you reaching the intended audience?
- Peak engagement – when are your posts getting the most engagement and when is your audience online the most?
Schedule your posts to align with your audience’s online activity
After monitoring your performance for a month or so, it will be easier to understand your audience more.
You should be able to tell when your audience is the most active online and when your higher engagement periods are.
This will give you a good indication of when you should be posting your content. There are many websites online that offer scheduled posts and allow you to pre-plan your social media posts days and weeks in advance.
It’s also a good way to map out your content and identify gaps you might need to fill if you don’t have enough content for your chosen timeframe.
Consider paid advertising or boosted posts (optional)
This is an extra step you can take once you have developed your social media strategy and have been monitoring your performance for a while.
Through monitoring your social media insights, you can identify where you could target more of your posts to increase your reach or further ensure you are reaching the right audience.
You could also run paid advertisements for your business or a product/service you’re offering.
Need help with your social media strategy? Contact us, we’d love to help.